After a one month hiatus, Greenwich Library Cult Films returns Thursday May 15th (details here) with a showing of director Tim Burton's 1994 classic Ed Wood. This black and white homage to the so called "worst director of all time" , Edward D. Wood Jr. (1924-1978), may play fast and loose with the facts, but it's a genuinely affectionate -and funny!- look at the man and some of his better known productions.
The film takes place during the mid 1950s when Wood (Johnny Depp, who's good but seems to be channeling Jon Lovitz), an unemployed screenwriter and failed playwright, attempts to secure financial backing and major studio recognition for his films. Along the way, he befriends a variety of bizarre, eccentric Hollywood types, including Bunny Breckinridge (a droll, camped-up Bill Murray), TV horror movie hostess Vampira (Lisa Marie), the fake medium (and popular television personality) Criswell (Jeffrey Jones), and down-at-his-luck faded film star Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau, whose sincere and sometimes amusing performance in this film won him the 1994 Best Supporting Actor Oscar). Meanwhile Wood also struggles with keeping his secret desire to wear women's clothing from girlfriend Dolores Fuller (Sarah Jessica Parker).
Director Burton, working from both the screenplay by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, and Rudolpf Grey's book on Wood, Nightmare of Ecstasy, guides the film along in a leisurely manner. Burton touches on the various mishaps and situations Wood and his friends endured while making three of his best known films, Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster, and the immortal Plan 9 From Outer Space. Solid support from the cast, plus nice supporting bits by Patricia Arquette, Stanley DeSantis, Mike Starr, and a dubbed Vincent D'Onofrio (as Orson Welles!), make Ed Wood the movie an entertaining pleasure from start to finish. (It's also probably the last Burton film to have a coherent storyline, I think.)
Ed Wood will be shown in the second floor Meeting Room on Thursday May 15th beginning at 6:00 pm. It's 127 minutes long, is rated R (mostly for language), and was filmed in black and white. Yours truly will start the program with a brief discussion of the film and it's main subject. If you're into unappreciated little gems, like Ed Wood, this is for you.
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